The working group has completed it's task and submitted a report and recommendations to the Central Council for Church Bellringers.   This website is minimally maintained as an archive and a benchmark to measure future progress.


Observation on the dynamic between ringing couples

This isn't really a story, more a general observation based on something that I've seen happen A LOT over the years. I must stress that the
below in no way applies across the board but I have witnessed it on multiple occasions. Apologies for the use of one or two colloquialisms but I'm sure it doesn't distract from the point at issue.

I've been a ringer for 34 years and something that I have found to be a constant source of irritation whilst attending numerous local practice nights, branch meetings etc. during that time is the habit that some males seem to have when ringing in a touch with their female partner whereby they give a nod, raise of the eyebrows or similar gesture whenever they dodge (or some other piece of work) with "The Mrs" - I don't generally notice them do this to other members of the band and I've always found it gets my hackles rising.

Maybe male concerned has been primed by the female to provide this support, but in my experience it usually appears to be such an instinctive, unconscious gesture that I am not sure it is the case. I don't find that the relative abilities of the couple as individual ringers is too much of a factor, although I must stress that I have seen on occasions, when Mrs is clearly a better, more experienced ringer than Mr, the same gesturing applied the other way, but this seems to be a considerably more uncommon occurrence.

I will also point out that I have been present on a number of occasions where a male has been publicly chastised by his partner for failing to provide any help or support during a touch in which they are both taking part, but rarely seen this happen the other way round. I think this scenario is less common but I have seen it happen.

I have seen the above usually at local practices rather than at the more advanced end of the ringing spectrum where individuals tend to be more self-sufficient, but that's not to say I haven't seen it happen there as well. As a male who generally attends ringing as a single person, I've felt myself almost squirming with embarrassment at the behaviour of some men towards their partners in ringing situations, and I always try my level best to ensure that I don't do it myself, or wouldn't if I ever had a ringing partner.